How to end yo-yo dieting permanently

Did you know that you can lose weight too many times? It's true. At some point, the body physiologically can no longer lose weight partly because it has lost too much muscle mass (the metabolically active or calorie burning tissue) and has been replaced with fat from weight regain (the metabolically inactive tissue.)

So what do successful weight maintainers that have lost weight do? They follow the red, yellow, and green zones of weight monitoring. This means you get on the scale at LEAST once a week, or what I recommend, once a day. Assuming you don't stress over each and every pound and here's how:

Green:

0-3 lbs, let's say your goal is to maintain 180lbs. So your goal is to always see that scale fluctuate between 180-183lbs. That means if you see 182lbs, you're good. No need to starve yourself, walk an extra two miles, or freak out and look for a crash diet because you must've blown it when you took that extra bite of lasagna yesterday you knew you shouldn't have. Remember, we are being rational now, right?

Yellow:

Your weight has jumped up 3-5lbs, say to 185-188lbs. You can't blame this on normal water weight fluctuations anymore. But here's the thing. For successful weight maintainers, they are consistent enough to know what caused them to get into the yellow zone. It's not like some little evil calorie-people came into their beds while they were sleeping and planted themselves right on their thighs. That's not how it works. They know it was that vacation they just went on, the neighbor's barbecue, or the stressful project at work they let get the best of them. And they have an excellent plan of action to get them back into their green zone. They just know it's going to take a week or two. (click the image to the right to see a visual)

Red:

Okay, so you feel off the wagon, your weight has gone up more than 5lbs. Successful weight maintainers know it's not IF this is going to happen, but WHEN. Because life happens. But it doesn't happen often because they are monitoring themselves enough to catch it in the yellow zone. But there are the two week vacations, once in a lifetime events like second honeymoons to celebrate milestone anniversaries, and family deaths. It doesn't mean you give up and it doesn't mean you go on a crash diet either. Successful maintainers get back on track and know its going to take a good month before they are back in the green zone.

But what if you need a plan and don't know where to start? You might want to head over to my services page and see if you might be interested in one of my coaching packages. 

P.S. If you’re looking for online support with like minded moms striving to live a healthier lifestyle, you may be interested in joining my free support group here.

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Jillian McMullen, RDN, CSOWM, LDN